LSUHSC School of Public Health was recently awarded funding through May 2016 by the Skoll Global Threats Fund to promote Flu Near You (https://flunearyou.org/), a real-time participatory surveillance tool that tracks and visualizes influenza-like illness. This award supports three student ambassadors to work within LSUHSC and with other local universities to recruit and retain FNY participants, as well as to develop an online toolkit other schools can use to promote the FNY. LSUHSC also will work with student ambassadors of another Skoll grantee, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. The PI of the LSUHSC award is Dr. Randi Kaufman, director of public health practice/assistant professor of health policy and systems management.
With Flu Near You, participants can access and contribute to the data stream about influenza-like illness in their own communities. Flu Near You collects data through a website or free mobile application that allows the public to anonymously report their health information using a quick weekly survey. Users report symptoms, see a map of reports, learn when to take action, and help build a resource for data-driven action.
Flu Near You is a project of Skoll Global Threats Fund, Children’s Hospital and HealthMap. The Skoll Global Threats Fund was created in 2009 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Mr. Jeff Skoll to confront global threats imperiling humanity by seeking solutions, strengthening alliances, and spurring actions needed to safeguard the future. For details visit www.skollglobalthreats.org.